Keeping this Heart-Space Beating

Shecosystem was a heart-space before it was a coworking space. It was a vibe, a tribe, a set of values and visions that we shared of entrepreneurship done differently. And it still is all those things.

 

As time went on the mission got diluted and impossibly huge in my mind. I got overwhelmed with the things that I thought I should do to grow the business. I started to feel like in order for Shecosystem to attract new members and take up space in our city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, it had to be an event promoter, an incubator, a mentorship program, a vehicle for accessing funding, a platform for feminist activism, a business training centre…ALL THE THINGS.

 

Carrying all of this was too much.

 

Last week I took some time up north to reflect. Alone, surrounded by nature I tuned out the noise and listened to my heart.

I reflected on all of the things our members and visitors have said in our circles, surveys, meetings and casual conversations. I finally let it all land.

Instead of seeing everything that we’re not, I was able to see what we are.

 

Our members told me in a recent impact survey that Shecosystem is…

 

  • My safe haven in a crazy world 
  • A space where like-minded people come to work and be in community 
  • A community. Feeling held. Support at every stage of my journey. 
  • A place I need in my life to help me feel connected and a part of. It’s also a place I need to make connections to move my business forward. 
  • A place where I can be productive without compromising my health.

 

It’s that simple: Shecosystem is a safe, productive, wellness-focussed workspace that values the feminine, where a community of like-souled people connect and support each other in our work and in our lives.

 

That’s enough. That’s significant.

 

((deep exhale))

 

Shecosystem is not for everyone, and it’s not going to be everything. But for those of us who truly get it, it’s powerful.

 

That’s why I’m calling out to you, our community, to invite other people who get it. I want to see our community grow – organically, with the right people – for the benefit of us all. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in the nine months Shecosystem has been open is to ask for help. So I’m asking you to help me reach out to people who you think belong in this quirky and diverse tribe of heart-centred entrepreneurs.

 

On August 9, we’re opening our doors for the day so your networks can experience our space and get to know our community. 

Thank you for keeping this heart-space beating.

With gratitude,

Emily Rose


Let’s make it easy-peasy for you to invite other people who get it!

 

Here’s a sample post you can share with your friends:

Check out Toronto’s women-centric coworking space for @Shecosystem Coworking & Wellness on August 9! I’ll be celebrating International Coworking Day with this tribe of  heart-centred entrepreneurs. Join us for a free day of coworking, wellness, and community!  Sign up at http://bit.ly/opensheco

 

Here’s a sample tweet:

Join the @shecosystem community for a free International #Coworking Day Open House on August 9 http://bit.ly/opensheco

 


Emily Rose Antflick is Shecosystem’s Founder and Chief Community Cultivator. She operates her business straight from the heart – and occasionally from the stern of a canoe.

The Main Pricing Mistake Entrepreneurs Make

Pricing means more than we think it does. It tells your potential customers if what you offer is truly valuable or not.

It is the answer to the question: Are you a commodity or a luxury item?

Our brains trick us into thinking that we’ll make more money if we have a lower price we’ll get more sales…WRONG.

Would you really purchase more of a product that you care about just because it is cheaper? What if it was an important beauty product (like shampoo)? What if it was a medication that you need for your migraines?

As you can see in the examples I gave you above, when you truly care about the value being offered, you won’t think that price is the most important or the only thing that matters.

If you have worked on your business plan and foundations, you have made sure that you have identified your ideal client: the one that truly wants and understands the value of what you offer. If this is true for you, those people will be happy to pay a fair price for it.

When you are getting price objections you are either talking to the wrong market or you are not doing a good job at explaining the value and benefits of what you offer.

What does truly happen when your price is too low? The truth is that you won’t automatically get more sales, in contrast, these 2 things can happen:

  • You’ll need to sell a lot more product to make more money. This means that you have to do a lot more work.
  • People associate a lower price with less quality, less value…less everything. This means that they will start doubting your quality and potentially go for your competition instead of you.

I’ve worked with probably 30 different categories of products at small stores, pharmacies, and supermarkets. Never the lowest priced product made more sales in $. The only exceptions were commoditized items such as toilet paper, that was sold around 80% on promotion.

The implication of being a commodity is that your focus on price vs. value makes your clients expect just that: the lowest price at all times. Your true price is no longer the regular one because like toilet paper, that is being sold 80% on promotion, the price that people buy at is lower than the regular one.

I talk a lot about pricing in my work because it’s one of the most important parts of your business, especially if you have a product since there are a lot of costs associated with this and it is a lot harder to change or adjust than with services.

People pay for what they value, period. They will pay more for what is offering them a better solution for their problem or a bigger opportunity.

The truth is that a lower price not only makes you automatically make less money, but it will also be associated with a lower value.

Instead of thinking “what a good deal” people will think “hmmm, there must be something wrong with this”.


This post was originally written by our member Leyla Razegh on her blog. Wisdom Wednesdays is a collection of content submitted by our members.

Leyla Razegh is a Consultant, Trainer, and Speaker known for her high energy, sense of humor and for her unique delivery that combines unapologetic honesty with kindness. As a Business Strategist, she believes that it’s possible to make money while making a positive impact on the world and society. To learn more about Leyla’s visit her website here.

Rubiena Duarte: Reiki Master

Rubiena Duarte

Business:  Reiki Master


What is at the heart of your business?

Energy Healing, Reiki Courses and Sessions

 

Why did you join a women’s coworking and wellness community?

A collective of women is what makes me thrive!

 

Shecosystem’s core values are openness, community, collaboration, accessibility, sustainability, feminism, and wellness. Which of these resonates most with you and why?

Community – it always takes a village!!

 

What do you wish to give and/or receive from this community?

A space to connect, work, do business

 

Tell us one way you integrate self-care into your working life:

Daily meditations

 

What’s your top piece of advice for other women entrepreneurs?

Take a risk


 

CONNECT WITH  RUBIENA!

Website: reikibyrubiena.com

Facebook: Reiki By Rubiena

Instagram: @reiki_by_rubiena

 

 

UPCOMING EVENT:

Manifesting Your Life with Reiki by Rubiena

Jessica Vogt: The Green Leadership Coach

Jessica Vogt

Business:  Green Leadership Coach and Founder of Talpa & Co.


What is at the heart of your business?

I work collaboratively with emerging leaders and change makers in the environmental sector offering coaching solutions that fit their needs and goals.

 

Why did you join a women’s coworking and wellness community?

I was looking for a small and intimate space to work and not feel alone. I also feel strongly aligned with Shecosystem values. To be honest, I was intrigued about a women coworking space. I felt challenged to connect with that part of me that is feminine. I feel drawn to the community because I think it will do me good and challenge me in ways I can not imagine yet. I also love to combination of work and wellness. That is what I want in my own life and work.

 

What does thriving look like to you?

It looks like harmony. Thriving for me feels like I am smiling while I work, I am excited when I complete a project, I feel connected to others on a deep and authentic level. I am in touch with my fears and have a healthy relationship with all my saboteurs.

 

Shecosystem’s core values are openness, community, collaboration, accessibility, sustainability, feminism, and wellness. Which of these resonates most with you and why?

Tough one … I’d say Collaboration, Community, and Openness. I have been craving for collaboration. I tend to be more an extravert than an introvert. I talk my ideas out loud, I need visuals, colours, movement, etc. I need someone to debate, ask honest feedback and to reflect with. It seems that Shecosystem encourages collaboration. I have not yet found a place I feel part of a community.

As an immigrant who has been living in Toronto for over 6 years and recently starting my own business, I need a community where I feel I belong, where I feel people are curious, brave, authentic, challenging and pushing ideas and with values I can relate. I feel here, people share lots of similar values. I love the diversity and also the fact that it is a small and intimate space.

 

What do you wish to give and/or receive from this community?

I want to support and receive support from openminded, mindful, fun and respectful people. Exchanging ideas, resources, advice, food, and laughs.

 

Tell us one way you integrate self-care into your working life: 

I choose to make time every morning to stretch and do some long breathing exercises. I have integrated some vocal exercises to the breathing too. It’s fun.

 

What’s your top piece of advice for other women entrepreneurs?

If you feel alone, come out and find a place where you can feel part a group/community. You do not have to be alone and brave storms and challenges all by yourself.

 

Anything else we should know about you?
I speak French Sign Languages because I have the privilege to have awesome deaf parents.

 

CONNECT WITH JESSICA!

Website: talpaco

Twitter: Talpa and co

Facebook: Jessica Vogt Coaching

LinkedIn: J Vogt

 

Lisa Simone Richards (PR & Visibility Coaching)

Lisa Simone Richards

Business:  PR & Visibility Coaching


What is at the heart of your business?

I help health, fitness & wellness entrepreneurs go from unknown and underpaid to standing out and selling out.

Why did you join a women’s coworking and wellness community?

I wanted to find a space of like-minded people on a mission to help others live their best lives full of health & vitality. Finding a women’s-specific community wasn’t on purpose, but it’s an inadvertent natural fit. Somehow there’s always been a female-only area of my life, whether that was Girl Guides, an all-girls high school, or being in a sorority during undergrad. So I’m definitely not surprised I stumbled into a women’s coworking facility!

What does thriving look like to you?

To me, thriving is living in a space of full abundance and possibility – financially, professionally & personally. And of course, having the freedom to enjoy all of those things.

Shecosystem’s core values are openness, community, collaboration, accessibility, sustainability, feminism, and wellness. Which of these resonates most with you and why?

Collaboration definitely resonates with me the most. I’m a big believer in collaboration over competition, and as a natural connector, I love to partner with others on certain types of projects.

What do you wish to give and/or receive from this community?

I know that a lot of women in the space are entrepreneurs and it’s totally my passion to work with health, fitness, and wellness entrepreneurs – the kind that really wants to make a big difference in the world. However, a lot of the time entrepreneurs can’t afford traditional PR agencies or publicists, so I hope to help the women in the Shecosystem community learn how to stand out in their industries, get known as the experts that they are, and magnetically attract their ideal clients right to them.

Tell us one way you integrate self-care into your working life: 

Middle of the day naps. Lots of ’em 🙂

What’s your top piece of advice for other women entrepreneurs?

Don’t wait for permission or perfection. Also, persistence without being a pest is *key* – everything I’ve ever wanted and gotten is because I haven’t been afraid to be persistent, go after, and claim the things I want.


 

CONNECT WITH  LISA!

Website: lisasimonerichards

Twitter: @ellerich

Facebook: Get Seen Get Clients Get Paid

YouTube: Lisa S. Richards

 

Jake Hassel-Gren: LEAP Learning Lab

Jake Hassel-Gren

Business:  Founder of LEAP Learning Lab


What is at the heart of your business?

Enabling women to join forces and turn their combined resources and expertise into the power they need to make the life, and business they want.

Why did you join a women’s coworking and wellness community?

Because I believe women are more powerful and successful together.

What does thriving look like to you?

Thriving is about feeling good in my skin, giving to others, and contributing to my community.

Shecosystem’s core values are openness, community, collaboration, accessibility, sustainability, feminism, and wellness. Which of these resonates most with you and why?

Community for sure! In fact, I believe a community is foundational to the future economic model for women entrepreneurs. To thrive, women entrepreneurs need to be willing to bring their businesses together to collaborate and build revenue in a likeminded community.

What do you wish to give and/or receive from this community?

I will give my time and my expertise. I am also willing to be a mentor for younger women in the community. I wish to receive support for my new business and hopefully access opportunities to deliver workshops, talks, and small group sessions based on topics relevant to the community.

Tell us one way you integrate self-care into your working life: 

I am an avid Crossfitter and I am in my Crossfit box 5 mornings per week without fail

What’s your top piece of advice for other women entrepreneurs?

Seek direction from women who have gone before you, find your niche, find your community, hold your breath and leap!

CONNECT WITH  JAKE!

Website: leaplearninglab

Twitter: jakehg8

Instagram: Jake_hassel_gren

Facebook: leaplearninglab 

YouTube: LEAP Learning Lab

 

Leonie Smith: Thoughtful Workplaces where Every Voice Matters

Leonie Smith

Business:  Founder of The Thoughtful Workplace


What is at the heart of your business?

At The Thoughtful Workplace, we help organisations and their leaders transform perceived difficult conversations into opportunities for building a shared vision around work. We also create systems, based on what people need, to do great work by integrating principles that invite every voice to matter in organisations.

 

Why did you join a women’s coworking and wellness community?

I was looking for a space that was positive, encouraging, and where I also felt I could give back. There is a strong alignment in the work of Shecosystem and what I am offering the community through my work.

 

What does thriving look like to you?

Living and working with clarity and in alignment with purpose.

 

Shecosystem’s core values are openness, community, collaboration, accessibility, sustainability, feminism, and wellness. Which of these resonates most with you and why?

Community and collaboration. I am a woman who is setting out on my own path. I believe that community is necessary to support transition and to give courage to bringing my unique voice to the world through my work. I like being in a place where I can give to and receive from the community. Collaboration is where I thrive. I love to hear from many voices and to find ways of working that are inclusive and fun.

 

What do you wish to give and/or receive from this community?

Mutual support, connection, skill-building and information on peaceful ways of getting work done.

 

Tell us one way you integrate self-care into your working life: 

Sleep.

 

What’s your top piece of advice for other women entrepreneurs?

Give yourself the gift of finding and learning to tap into your inner voice. That is where your courage lives.

 

Anything else we should know about you?

I read a lot and I love reading circles as a way of learning and reflection.


CONNECT WITH  LEONIE!

Email

Opening Your Day With Positivity

Being an Intern at Shecosystem I found out pretty quickly the importance of taking time during the workday to honour one’s body and mind. Shecosystem is like no other coworking space in Toronto. As a 21-year-old intern, I am constantly thinking of what I can learn, how I can improve, and implement new strategies into my internship.

Many interns my age also have these thoughts racing through their head every day. Luckily for me, I got the opportunity to intern at Shecosystem. Emily, the founder and Chief Community Cultivator of Shecosystem mentioned to me that at 10:00 AM, every morning at Shecosystem we do something particularly different. Something that other coworking spaces don’t do: we have an Opening Circle. It’s a time to gather in the Studio and check in with ourselves and connect with the community before we get back into our work. During this time we take a moment to reflect on our five senses: this might include breathing exercises, picking a reflection card, or getting into our bodies with a self-expression dance. The limit is endless when it comes to possibilities for opening circle!

The positive impact it makes on the rest of the day is amazing:

– Taking just 20 minutes in the morning to clear the mind of any negativity allows me to focus on my work for the rest of the day.

-This is also a way we get to know the members, unlike the conventional cubicle office where you’re sitting at a desk without interaction with other colleagues.

-Opening Circle gives guests the time to acknowledge that our life does intertwine with work.

-Members get a chance to see each others’ personality, give support, and uplift each other.

For instance, today at Opening Circle Emily played us a song about water. This resonated deeply with me. For the past few days in Opening Circle I’ve randomly pulled out reflection cards that keep telling me to spend some time near water. As the song played, I began to express myself with dance. My mind drifted away to the trip I took to Mexico a few months ago. I started moving as if the tides were hitting my back and then pulling me in. It was astonishing, the deeper I got into the music the more vivid my memory became, to the point where I was able to even smell the salt water and recall the feeling of stepping on wet sand. During these sessions we all experience something different, we are listening to our soul and giving it exactly what it needs. It is truly a deeper connection with oneself.

After Opening Circle is over, members are much more comfortable with each other.  This is also a way to network with others within Shecosystem. I can personally say that after our Opening Circle season my mind is no longer foggy, I’m much more focused on my work, and coffee is not needed. These circles we offer are not mandatory, but many of our colleagues make an effort to come in at 10AM so they can start their day off with this moment of intention.

At the end of the day the community gets together again for a Closing Circle. This is a time to reflect on how the day went. Even after my internship is finished, I want to continue taking time out in the morning to do something similar to an opening circle. There are so many benefits to this and I’m excited to share this idea with my friends and family.  

 

Want to experience Shecosystem’s Opening Circles? Book a free tour any morning and join our community to set your intentions for the workday!

 


Christina Melaku is a fourth year student at Michigan State University, studying Economics and International Relations. Her interest in entrepreneurship has landed her here at Shecosystem as a intern for the summer of 2017. Looking forward to learning the ins and outs of running a business. Christina’s post undergrad plan includes continuing her education through a MBA program and launching her online business.  

 

Pat Kack “the Get it Done Girl” is a Startup Enabler

Name: Patricia Kack

Business:  Simplified Communications


What is at the heart of your business?

I am a startup enabler

 

Why did you join a women’s coworking and wellness community?

 Want to empower female entrepreneurs

 

What does thriving look like to you?

Progression over perfection.

 

Shecosystem’s core values are openness, community, collaboration, accessibility, sustainability, feminism, and wellness. Which of these resonates most with you and why?

All of them – I am an open-minded, collaborative, community-driven feminist, who believes in simplifying life to be sustainable and ensure opportunity and longevity for all.

 

What do you wish to give and/or receive from this community?

Support, networking, goodwill.

 

Tell us one way you integrate self-care into your working life: 

I don’t. I need to learn how to do this consistently.

 

What’s your top piece of advice for other women entrepreneurs?

Don’t be afraid to ask – for help, for more.

 

Anything else we should know about you?

I am the Get It Done Girl – I can help, all you have to do is ask.

 


Connect with Patricia!

Linkedin

 

Facebook

Wisdom Wednesday : How to delight in your mistakes By Shari Lash

“Blend a little levity into your mistakes and learn to laugh with yourself next time you stumble”

 

My recent vacation to London, England was a long overdue change of scenery and a chance to deposit myself into a familiar cultural setting. With English being our common language, I thought I would fit right in. That wasn’t quite the case, however. I learned quickly that the bathroom was called a toilet, the elevator a lift, and fanny, well, fanny is not a polite word for butt, it’s slang for another part of a woman’s anatomy.

One day, the tour bus (or, known in the UK as a Coach) took us outside of London to Henry VIII’s summer palace. During lunch, I decided to try a kale and strawberry smoothie. I brought it back to our too small table and before long the drink was on my lap leaving sticky greenness everywhere. Our day was only half over and I had dinner plans with relatives that evening. I was aghast.

Back on the bus, I sat in the front, next to our tour operator, Rose. In front of us was our bus driver, George. “How did you like the Palace?” Rose asked, innocently. “I loved it,” I replied, “except I spilled a vegetable smoothie all over my pants.” George, who never spoke a word before, started to snicker. “I can’t even wash them or rinse them out until I get back to the hotel tonight!” I lamented, to which George lost his composure completely. He and Rose had a healthy chuckle and I was a little surprised by their response.

“There’s something you ought to know,” said Rose with amusement. In England we say trousers. Pants are underpants.” Even though to me, trousers is a word I associate more with my grandmother, I thanked Rose for clarifying, and we all had a good laugh. Not 24 hours later, I found myself in a Notting Hill clothing shop asking if I could try on a pair of pants in my size. When I noticed the grin on the saleswoman’s face, I caught myself and rephrased my question. Later on that evening I did it again when I “showed off” my new pants at dinner.

Now, back at home, I might have been embarrassed, impatient, or even ashamed by my slow learning. But the fact that I was on vacation, making mistakes was a source of delight. Most importantly, I laughed at myself while others lovingly laughed along with me.

We’ve all found ourselves in situations we’re unfamiliar with. We don’t know the rules and we have to learn to adapt. So many of us go through life being fearful of doing the wrong thing. We don’t try to stretch ourselves lest we feel embarrassed or judged or foolish. Whether we’re starting a new job, learning a new subject, or trying to navigate a new social context, is it possible to embrace challenges with a vacationer’s mind and even delight in our mistakes?
Mistakes are an opportunity for connection and even empathy. In fact, chances are that you’re kinder when pointing out someone else’s misstep. Before you entertain a punishing thought, try to catch yourself and lighten up. When Rose corrected me, and George was laughing, I laughed at myself too. I didn’t blush with embarrassment. From our group chuckle, we all became closer. Rather than feeling vulnerable, hurt or resentful when someone points out a mistake, try receiving new information with some gratitude and a willingness to apply it. Even when I forgot myself several times, trousers became my favourite souvenir word! Holding onto our mistakes — remembering that stupid thing we said over and over again is not going to change a thing. You said it, you did it, you learned something new, now keep moving. Even though I had to spend a whole day in sticky green pants, once I let go of wishing things were different, it didn’t matter to me anymore. In fact, it became a conversation starter!

Confidence comes when we open the door to making mistakes, whatever they may be. And when that door opens and hits us in the pants (or the fanny), we can smile, get back on the bus (or coach) and delight in the fact that we learned something new. Happy trails.


This post was originally written by our member Shari Lash on her blog. Wisdom Wednesdays is a collection of content submitted by our members.

 

Shari Lash is a certified Life Skills Educator, she brings a unique approach to her leadership and program designs. Shari writes for a variety of creatives, academics, coaches, and entrepreneurs, both locally and internationally and her workshops and presentations are offered to groups and organizations across Toronto.  Learn more about Shari at http://wholestep.ca